Previous editions of the conference
“We must meet; we must communicate with one another; we must, it would seem, be alone together” (John Macmurray)
We welcome contributions to the third international pandisciplinary conference on solitude in community: Alone Together. It will take place between 31st March and 2nd April 2022 in the University of Szczecin, Poland, under the auspices of The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice-Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln (UK) and the auspices of Professor Waldemar Tarczyński, Rector of the University of Szczecin (Poland).
This is organized by the International Society for Research on Solitude (ISRS) with support from Bishop Grosseteste University (UK) and the Institute of Pedagogy of the University of Szczecin (Poland).
We welcome papers* and posters on any issues related to solitude, silence and loneliness, from any discipline, and from researchers from all over the world. All papers and discussions will be held in English.
This time, for the first time, we plan a session on “Alone Together in everyday life” conducted by practitioners only, who directly serve people to soothe the loneliness or promote solitude in various ways and social environments.
*Scheduled speaking time up to 20 minutes. In the case of online participation, poster posters should be sent in pdf, jpg or png format to firstname.lastname@example.org
The submission of abstracts will be welcome till the 28.02.2022. (Later submissions will be considered if there is still room on the programme.) To submit, please fill in the form here: click on the link
The conference will be hybrid, so participation will be possible on-site in Poland, and also online. Participation on-site will require a fee 100 USD/ 87 EUR / 75 GBP / 400 PLN for refreshments and conference materials (no accommodation included).
If you consider publishing the research you’ll present, we have a few possibilities to indicate. Our friend Dat Bao from Monash University in Australia wishes to make a special edition of his brand new Journal of Silence Studies in Education. Philosophically oriented articles are invited to contribute (in English or in Polish) to the Polish journal Ruch Filozoficzny (70 points in Poland) by our friend Piotr Domeracki. We have also proposed a monograph series (which could also include edited books) to the publishers Bloomsbury, and that proposal is currently being reviewed.
We are looking forward to meeting you!
Day 1: Thursday 31st March 2022
9:00 – 9:30 (Polish time) Welcome
Julian Stern (Bishop Grosseteste University, UK)
The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice-Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln (UK)
Professor Waldemar Tarczyński, Rector of the University of Szczecin (Poland)
Anna Murawska, head of the Institute of Pedagogy, University of Szczecin (Poland)
9:30 – 10:15 Dat Bao (Monash University, Australia) – The multiple meanings of silence in contexts: Implications for learning and communication
10:15 – 10:30 Discussion
10:30 – 12:00 Session 1 – Theories of Solitude
Moderator: Katarzyna Ciarcińska (University of Szczecin, Poland)
12:15 – 13:45 Session 2 – Alone and Together: Solitude and Loneliness in Education
Moderator: Anna Murawska (University of Szczecin, Poland)
14:00 – 14:45 Samir Dayal (Bentley University, USA) – Antigone at the Crossroads: The Ethics of Alienation
14:45 – 15:00 Discussion
15:00 – 15:15 Summary
Day 2: Friday 1st April 2022
9:00 – 10:30 Session 3 – Solitude in Culture and Religion
Moderator: Małgorzata Wałejko (University of Szczecin, Poland)
10:45 – 12:15 Session 4 – Solitude & Loneliness: Educational perspectives
Moderator: Amy Webster (Bishop Grosseteste University, UK)
12:30 – 14:00 Session 5 – Loneliness in different professional environments
Moderator: Barbara Żakowska (University of Szczecin, Poland)
14:15 – 15:15 Session 6 – Posters session
Moderator: Aleksander Cywiński (University of Szczecin, Poland)
15:15 – 16:00 Conference Conclusion for all participants including members of the Scientific Committee
We are delighted to present excellent Keynote Speakers:
Dat Bao, Monash University, Australia
will present on:
The multiple meanings of silence in contexts: Implications for learning and communication
This discussion, which is drawn from research in the educational setting of Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, looks at a wide range of meanings unstated in words but infused through silence. Such messages, however, do not come from silence alone but are triggered by the performance of speech and other ecological factors. Empirical findings reveal that silence frequently performs the same social and educational functions as speech. The only difference is that many can clearly hear the latter but easily fail to recognise that the former even exists.
Dat Bao is a senior lecturer at Monash University, Australia. He has researched silence in education across diverse contexts and has written about silence as thought processes and ways of learning. He has produced a PhD thesis, two books and twelve articles on this theme.
Samir Dayal, Bentley University, USA
will present on:
Antigone at the Crossroads: The Ethics of Alienation
This talk will explore productive ambiguities in the category of alienation, which includes and exceeds the notion of loneliness. Whereas loneliness often indicates a feeling of painful separation of self from others, alienation may also operate as a principled and generative disaffection. Alienation may manifest as elective withdrawal from or disenchantment with the conventional, compulsory normativity regulating social relations and constituting dominant mores. Although it may also manifest as other states—such as indifference, an intermediate position—the main focus of this talk will be to discuss how alienation may afford the subject some freedom of thought and action. Through readings of Sophocles’ Antigone, as well as of works by Franz Kafka, Frantz Fanon, and other selected examples, I trace an ethics of alienation that highlights both the etymological sense of subjectivity (ethos), and the sense of principled disaffection from the status quo. Antigone is the figure of a subject at an ethical crossroads, who not only dissents from the reigning social order but also brings law as such into crisis. Antigone and the other examples I consider limn the intersection where crucial concerns of psychoanalysis and philosophy converge.
Samir Dayal is Professor of English and Media studies at Bentley University. His most recent books include New Cosmopolitanisms, Race, and Ethnicity, co-edited with Ewa Łuczak and Anna Pochmara, and the monograph Dream Machine: Realism and Fantasy in Hindi Cinema. He is the author of Resisting Modernity: Counternarratives of Nation and Modernity, coeditor of Global Babel: Interdisciplinarity, Transnationalism and the Discourses of Globalization, and editor, with an introduction, of Julia Kristeva’s Crisis of the European Subject, among other books. He has published widely on Postcolonial studies and cultural studies and is Editor-in-Chief of the PsyArt Journal. He is the President of the PsyArt Foundation for the Study of Psychology and the Arts.
The idea of the Alone Together symposium emerged from the meeting of Prof Julian Stern (UK) and Dr Malgorzata Walejko (Poland), both fascinated by the phenomenon of solitude. Dr Walejko visited York St John University in 2018 thanks to the Erasmus+ programme, to meet and work with Prof Stern when he was based there. Their common research resulted in publications with the participation of other solitude researchers (e.g. Solitude and Self-Realisation in Education in the Journal of Philosophy of Education, 2019; two special editions of Paedagogia Christiana: vol. 45 and 46; The Bloomsbury Handbook of Solitude, Silence and Loneliness), and also in the idea of meeting with other researchers from around the world interested in solitude, silence and loneliness. The meetings led to establishing the International Society for Research on Solitude.